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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 9
Joanne White posted Thursday January 2, 2020.

Last night Donny Schatz again proved why he is 10-time World of Outlaws Champion and one of the best Sprintcar drivers in world when he sailed to victory in Round Nine of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway. It was a hard fought win for Schatz though, with locals Kevin Titman and Luke Oldfield both having their turn at leading the event. Titman led early but surrendered the lead to Oldfield, who led until an uncharacteristic error with less than a dozen laps left to run prematurely ended his race. Schatz inherited the lead for the rest, leaving Andrew Scheuerle and Titman to negotiate over second. A late caution left the field with a two-lap dash to the chequered flag, with Titman getting underneath Scheuerle with a lap and a half to run. Donny Schatz got the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Andrew Scheuerle, while Allan Woods slid underneath Cody Maroske in the final corner to steal fourth moments before the chequered flag. Maroske crossed the line in fifth while Karl Hoffmans had a phenomenal run in the NQ3 racer to come home in sixth after a thrilling battle with Adam Butler and Brock Dean.

In qualifying it was Luke Oldfield who was quicker than the rest, setting the fastest time during the final qualifying run. Oldfield stopped the clock at 11.813 seconds, beating Andrew Scheuerle (11.916) and Donny Schatz (11.956). Brent Kratzmann (11.995) was fourth fastest and the last car in the eleven-second bracket, while Mark Pholi rounded out the top five. Karl Hoffmans qualified well, securing sixth quickest with a 12.204 second lap and setting him up for an impressive night of Sprintcar racing, while the top twenty drivers were separated by less than one second.

Andrew Corbet and Allan Woods shared the front row for the start of the first heat of the evening, with Corbet initially getting his nose in front only for Woods to race around the top side and take control of the race by the time they rounded the second corner. Corbet immediately came under pressure from a hard-charging Kevin Titman, while Luke Oldfield got around Karl Hoffmans and started searching for a way past Kristy Bonsey. Oldfield was determined, and swiftly switched to the bottom to get underneath Bonsey as they made their way through turn four before setting his sights on Titman. Oldfield spent a few laps chasing down the Q59 racer and looking for a way through, while behind them Tim Farrell made his way past Karl Hoffmans and started challenging Bonsey for mid-field positions. Oldfield displaced Titman and turned his attention to Corbet, taking just a few laps to close the gap and find a way underneath the Q78 racer with just one and a half laps left to run. Oldfield set out after Woods but ran out of laps, with Allan Woods taking the win ahead of Luke Oldfield and Andrew Corbet. Kevin Titman was fourth across the line, leading Kristy Bonsey, Tim Farrell, Karl Hoffmans and Libby Ellis home.

Heat two saw Andrew Baumber start from pole position with Nicholas Whell alongside, and Bryan Mann and Mitchell Gee from the second row. Whell got a brilliant start with Gee following him on the high side to settle into second once the green flag flew. Baumber got comfortable in third, occasionally challenging Gee for second, while Mann searched for a way past Baumber while defending his position from Andrew Scheuerle. Scheuerle raced underneath Mann as they rounded turns one and two on the second lap of the event, with Mann fighting back on the high side, but contact between the pair saw Mann invert the Q16 racer several times. Mann was unscathed but out of the race while Scheuerle suffered a flat left rear tyre, his team working fiercely to get it changed in time for the A1 to take to the restart. Whell led the field back to green light conditions, with Gee and Baumber on his tail, while Scheuerle started making his way forward from the rear of the field. Scheuerle challenged Adam Butler for position, while Butler in turn searched for a way past Baumber, who had surrendered third to Mark Pholi. Butler had a big look underneath Baumber, the pair racing two abreast for a lap before Butler managed to secure the advantage, with Scheuerle getting underneath Baumber soon after. Scheuerle closed in on Butler while at the front of the field both Gee and Pholi were on the tail of Whell, the trio having an intense battle for the lead as they rounded the final former of the race. Nicholas Whell did a phenomenal job to hold on to get the win ahead of Mitchell Gee and Mark Pholi. Adam Butler crossed the line in fourth ahead of Andrew Baumber and Anthony Vanderreyden, while Andrew Scheuerle failed to finish the event after a last lap incident left him with significant front-end damage on the A1 racer. Bryan Mann exited the race after just one lap.

The third heat of the night saw Ryan McNamara and Cody Maroske share the front row for the start, with Brock Dean and Callum Walker right behind and Brent Kratzmann and Donny Schatz from the third row. Maroske quickly secured the lead when the lights went green, with McNamara settling into second ahead of Walker. Schatz displaced Kratzmann, Dean and Walker in just over a lap before turning his attention to McNamara, while Dean got underneath Walker before setting out after McNamara, who had just surrendered his position to Schatz. Kratzmann and Walker battled deep in the field until Kratzmann got the better of the Q33 racer, while Schatz started to close in on Maroske and the race lead. Cody Maroske was able to hang on to the race lead, despite a persistent challenge from Schatz, and get the race win, with Donny Schatz home in second ahead of Ryan McNamara, Brock Dean, Brent Kratzmann, Callum Walker, Jai Stephenson and Sean Rose.

Heat four started with Andrew Baumber from pole position with Tim Farrell sharing the front row. Baumber got a great start and led the field through the first couple of corners, while Luke Oldfield, from position six, raced straight between Nicholas Whell and Karl Hoffmans as they rounded turn one. Kevin Titman had a big look on the bottom but got caught behind Whell, losing a little ground on the start. Titman, with Adam Butler close on his tail, raced underneath Hoffmans and set out after Whell, while Butler challenged Titman for position as well. Oldfield closed in the Farrell before racing around the Q51 racer as they navigated turn two, with Oldfield quickly turning his attention to race leader Baumber. It took just a couple of laps for Oldfield to make his way ahead of the NQ2 racer, taking control of the race before opening a sizable lead over the rest of the field. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win, with a margin of 5.223 seconds, with Tim Farrell home in second ahead of Andrew Baumber. Kevin Titman eventually got the better of Nicholas Whell, with Whell forced to settle for fifth. Adam Butler, Karl Hoffmans and Libby Ellis rounded out the finishers.

Andrew Corbet and Cody Maroske led the heat five field to the green flag, with Corbet getting the better start and settling into the race lead while Maroske ran too wide in turn two and let Brock Dean, Donny Schatz and Allan Woods through. Dean got underneath Corbet to take control of the race with just one and half laps completed, while Maroske got back underneath Woods. Schatz got too wide in turn two, giving Maroske the opportunity to challenge on the bottom, the Q5 racer quick on the bottom, racing underneath Schatz before challenging Corbet for position. Corbet and Maroske raced side-by-side, with Schatz on their tail, until Corbet got too sideways in turn two, spinning the Q78 before tipping over onto his side. Schatz suffered some top wing damage as he tried to avoid the stricken Corbet car but was able to continue to the race. Corbet was uninjured and even managed to restart the race, but a flat right front tyre saw him circulate slowly on the inside edge of the track in an effort to finish the event and secure some valuable points. Dean led the restart from Maroske and Schatz with six laps still to run, with Schatz wasting no time at all when the race resumed, the U15 racer taking to the high line to get around both Maroske and Dean in the space of a lap before starting to open a very comfortable margin as Dean and Maroske negotiated over second. Donny Schatz went on to take the win with Cody Maroske home in second ahead of Brock Dean, Allan Woods, Bryan Mann, Sean Rose and Andrew Corbet. Mitchell Gee did not make the start, a mechanical issue on board the Q43 racer ending his night a little early.

The sixth and final heat of the night saw young guns Ryan McNamara and Kristy Bonsey share the front row as they led the field to green light conditions. McNamara got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead, while Bonsey held down second but quickly came under pressure from a very determined Andrew Scheuerle, keen to secure as many points as possible after his earlier incident. Scheuerle raced around Callum Walker before getting past on the high side of Bonsey as they completed the first lap, while Brent Kratzmann and Mark Pholi challenged Walker for mid-field positions. A caution for the spun car of Jai Stephenson with three laps left to run bunched the field back up, with McNamara leading them back to the green flag ahead of Scheuerle and Bonsey. Mark Pholi was persistent on the bottom, getting underneath Kratzmann before turning his attention to Bonsey, while Kratzmann ran too wide in turn two on the second last lap and allowed Walker to slip back through. Ryan McNamara managed to hang on and take the win ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Kristy Bonsey and Mark Pholi. Brent Kratzmann managed to get back underneath Callum Walker on the final lap of the race to secure fourth and led Walker, Anthony Vanderreyden and Jai Stephenson across the line.

The pre-Dash lucky dip saw Mark Pholi and Kevin Titman share the front row for the start of the six-lap affair, with Cody Maroske and Andrew Scheuerle from the second row. While the leading par raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, it was Pholi who initially secured the race lead in advance of Titman and Scheuerle. Luke Oldfield took to the high line to get around Brent Kratzmann and Maroske on the opening lap, setting his sights on Scheuerle, while behind him Kratzmann, and then Donny Schatz, got underneath Maroske. Kratzmann defended his position from Schatz for another lap, with Schatz searching high and low for a way past before slipping underneath the Q2 racer as they rounded turns three and four. Oldfield and Scheuerle raced two abreast as each tried to advance, with Schatz soon joining their battle. Schatz displaced Scheuerle, leaving him to battle with Kratzmann, while turning his attention to Oldfield. At the front of the field Titman was all over the back of Pholi, eventually getting underneath the Q14 racer and opening a small margin as Pholi defended his position from Oldfield. Kevin Titman went on to take the win ahead of Mark Pholi and Luke Oldfield, with Donny Schatz home in fourth ahead of Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann, Tim Farrell and Cody Maroske.

Nine cars hit the track for the twelve-lap B-Main event, with Kristy Bonsey and Andrew Baumber to lead them away. Bonsey got a brilliant start, securing the lead and opening a small margin by the time she entered turn one, with Andrew Corbet quickly making his way underneath Baumber to settle into second. Corbet set out after Bonsey, while Baumber came under pressure from a very much in-form Adam Butler. Butler displaced Baumber, leaving the NQ2 racer in fourth but with Bryan Mann on his tail and searching for a way into the final transfer position, while at the rear of the field Libby Ellis, Jai Stephenson and Anthony Vanderreyden fought over the minor positions. Mann was relentless as he searched for a way past Baumber, eventually getting the job done as he raced around the high line in turn two, but there was no stopping Bonsey out in front. Kristy Bonsey took the win ahead of Andrew Corbet and Adam Butler, with Bryan Mann finishing fourth and securing the final transfer to the A-Main. Andrew Baumber, Jai Stephenson, Anthony Vanderreyden and Libby Ellis rounded out the finishers while Sean Rose pulled out of the event after completing just five laps.

The A-Main hit the track with Kevin Titman from pole position and leading the eighteen starters to the green flag. Mark Pholi shared the front row, with hard-chargers Luke Oldfield and Donny Schatz sharing the second row for the start. Titman got the jump when the lights went green and quickly secured the lead while Oldfield slipped underneath Pholi and settled into second. Schatz and Andrew Scheuerle searched for a way past Pholi while Brent Kratzmann searched the top-side for a way forward and Tim Farrell charged boldly on the bottom. Farrell got the better of Kratzmann and while Kratzmann tried to defend his position from Cody Maroske, Allan Woods charged around the top-side, getting around both Maroske and Kratzmann and starting to challenge Farrell. Woods and Farrell raced either side of Pholi, while Bryan Mann could not escape the bad luck he has been enduring of late and exited the race with just one lap officially completed. Oldfield started closing in on Titman and the race lead, with Schatz now in third and closing fast, but the race was brought under caution when Farrell spun the Q51 racer in turn two, leaving a luckless Kratzmann with nowhere to go. Contact between them followed as Kratzmann did what he could to avoid the Farrell car, with Farrell unable to restart the event. Kratzmann restarted at the rear of the field but pulled out of the event a couple of laps later.

Kevin Titman led the restart with twenty-nine laps still to run and Luke Oldfield and Donny Schatz right behind the Q59 racer. Karl Hoffmans had a close battle with Callum Walker as the pair searched for a way past Brock Dean, while Luke Oldfield managed to find his way past Titman and take control of the race, leaving Titman with Schatz on his tail. Schatz got underneath Titman with twenty laps still to run and started trying to close in on Oldfield, who had opened a significant lead and put several lapped cars between himself and his nearest rivals. Andrew Scheuerle got the better of Titman as well, sending the early leader back to fourth, while Oldfield extended his lead to around a third of a lap. Karl Hoffmans had a brilliant drive in the NQ3 racer, battling with Mark Pholi for a few laps before securing the advantage and pulling ahead of the Q14 racer, while Callum Walker and Adam Butler were embroiled in their own fierce battle for mid-field positions. Schatz started closing in on Oldfield as the laps wore on and it was looking set to be a thrilling final stage of the race, but Oldfield, while making his way through lapped traffic, ended up riding the wall in turn three before coming to a stop on the main straight and bringing the race under caution. It was enough to end his race.

Donny Schatz inherited the lead for the restart with Andrew Scheuerle in second head of Kevin Titman, Allan Woods and Cody Maroske. Maroske got underneath Woods moments after the race resumed and had a bold look underneath Titman as well, all while Woods fought back on the top-side. Contact between the right rear of Maroske and the left front of Woods saw Woods loose a fraction of ground but the Q28 racer soon began challenging Maroske in an effort to regain his position. Karl Hoffmans got the better of Brock Dean and set out after Woods and Maroske, leaving Dean to continue his battle with Adam Butler, who had done a brilliant job after transferring from the B-Main. Dean and Butler raced two abreast for several laps, the duo closing in on Hoffmans once more before Dean got a little too high coming out of turn two and handed the advantage to Butler. A late race caution for the spun car of Ryan McNamara in turn one left the field with a two-lap dash to the chequered flag.

There was no stopping Donny Schatz on the restart, the U15 racer quickly pulling ahead of the rest, while Kevin Titman timed his run to perfection, racing underneath Andrew Scheuerle and into second with just over one circulation left to run. Scheuerle of course fought back but Titman was too strong, while behind them the battle for fourth was far from over with Allan Woods racing up the inside of Cody Maroske as they rounded the final corner of the race. Donny Schatz got the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Andrew Scheuerle, with Allan Woods and Cody Maroske rounding out the top five. Karl Hoffmans secured his best result so far in a Sprintcar, crossing the line an impressive sixth ahead of Adam Butler, Brock Dean, Callum Walker, Mark Pholi, Kristy Bonsey, Nicholas Whell and Ryan McNamara. Luke Oldfield, Brent Kratzmann, Tim Farrell, Andrew Corbet and Bryan Mann all failed to finish the thirty-five-lap affair.

Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway this Saturday night, where we will be joined by the World Series Sprintcar contingent. Come and join us for another MASSIVE night of Sprintcar racing and see if one of our locals, or one of the World Series Sprintcar drivers, can beat Donny Schatz to the chequered flag. You will not want to miss this one.


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